A man who initially was accused of child rape agreed to plead guilty to misdemeanor incest and may be released from prison next week.There's an enormous difference between rape, and child rape at that, and consensual sex with an adult.
Felip Mafnas, 44, is willing to admit he had sex with a consenting adult relative, but there is no evidence that he sexually assaulted the girl when she was a teenager, said Public Defender Richard Dirkx.
The plea offer was approved by prosecutors -- who have agreed to dismiss all rape charges in this case -- and Superior Court of Guam Judge Anita Sukola said she planned to accept the plea.Consensual sex should not be a crime, nor should it mean ending up on a sex offender registry.
Sukola nearly signed off on the deal yesterday, but delayed the plea hearing so attorneys had more time to research if Mafnas should be listed on the sex offender registry.
"Why are you dismissing this?" Sukola asked in court yesterday, holding the signed plea deal in her hand.
In addition to incest, Mafnas was charged with three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct as a first-degree felony because he allegedly raped the victim three times in 2006. Each of these charges carries a sentencing range of 15 years to life.If that is true, the prosecutors really made a mess of things.
Assistant Attorney General Lea Kear said the prosecutors agreed to the plea deal because it was unlikely they could prove the rape allegations if Mafnas went to trial. Kear said senior prosecutors had come to this decision after discussing the case with the alleged victim, who is now 20 years old.
Dirkx yesterday said in court the alleged victim has "flatly denied" these accusations since Mafnas was arrested.
Although he has been practicing law on Guam for more than two decades, Dirkx yesterday said that he couldn't remember another criminal case where a local suspect was charged with incest. Dirkx said he was surprised to hear that Guam law forbids sex between two consenting adults, even if they are directly related.It is rather ridiculous, isn't it?
According to a 2010 Guam law, any suspect who is convicted of misdemeanor incest is required to register as a sex offender for life.Perhaps there shouldn't be such a thing as "misdemeanor incest." Assault or molestation should be severely punished. Consensual incest shouldn't be a criminal matter at all.